My cancer journey began in October 2018. I did a self-examination and discovered a hard lump on my right breast. I was shocked as I was 33 years old and I did not expect any issues with my breasts. My mother and grandmother both died from ovarian cancer, so I began to do blood tests for ovarian cancer at a young age. I had no prior tests on my breasts before, so I was unsure what to do next. The next week I visited a nurse who indicated to me that I have a 90 degree knot on my right breast and I needed to do an ultrasound immediately. I then visited the cancer society in Trinidad where I had to do an ultrasound, a biopsy and a mammogram.
I was so scared as to what the results would indicate. I did all these tests alone as I did not want to alarm my family or friends. I was really hoping that the doctor would say that my lump was non-cancerous. That was not the case. He told me "you have breast cancer." I was so terrified and shocked that I ran to the washroom and started to cry. The nurse had to check on me to make sure that I was okay. I began to change my attitude and tell my family and friends about my cancer. I got mixed reactions from people but I had to move forward. I visited Cleveland Clinic in Florida where the doctor diagnosed me with triple negative breast cancer.
I returned to Trinidad to have my surgery done. Professor Jameel Ali was helpful to provide insight on my lumpectomy and after treatment care. My surgery went well as I now struggle with chemotherapy and radiation challenges moving forward.
My advice for others diagnosed with TNBC is that you are not alone in this journey. All the struggles we face, we face together! I am so happy I found the TNBC Foundation website to share my story with others. I would recommend joining a group to share experiences.